Packed Lunches: Sandwiches, Appetizers, Salads and Soups

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sandwichYou can easily pack up a slimming, healthy lunch and take it to work with you, whether it's a crisp, crunchy salad, some sandwiches or even some hot soup in a vacuum flask. They can all be prepared in advance, either the night before or in the morning before you leave home. With one of our delicious packed lunches, you won't succumb to hunger pangs and be tempted to visit the local sandwich bar or fast food restaurant.

Low-Sin BLT sandwich

The classic BLT sandwich you can buy in supermarkets and sandwich bars is laden with Sins, but you can make a healthier version yourself at home. If you take the bread from the Healthy Extras, you can deduct 6 Sins per sandwich.

Pinwheel sandwiches

The beauty of these sandwiches is that you can make them with just one slice of bread so you save Sins. They look so pretty that you could serve them for afternoon tea. There are two alternative fillings suggested in the recipe below.

Gourmet sandwiches

Here are some ravishing ideas foe some extra-special sandwiches when you fancy a gastronomic treat. To make each sandwich you will need 2 x 28g/1oz slices wholemeal bread (6 Sins). Prepare the filling of your choice and make into sandwiches with the wholemeal bread.

Tip: Use wholemeal bread as a Healthy Extra and deduct 6 Sins per serving.

Spicy grilled tofu

Dry fry 85g/3oz cubed tofu until golden all over. Toast both slices of bread on one side only. Spread the untoasted side of one slice with 2-3 tablespoons very low fat natural fromage frais. Sprinkle lightly with chilli sauce and put the tofu on top with a little shredded letuce. Cover with the other slice of toast, untoasted side down, and cut in half.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 6 Sins on Original and Green

Egg and watercress

Peel and mash a hard-boiled egg and season with salt and pepper. Spread one slice of bread with 1 level tablespoon mango chutney (2 Sins) and sprinkle with trimmed sprigs of watercress. Spoon the egg over the top and cover with the remaining slice of bread. Cut into quarters.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 8 Sins on Original and Green

Char-grilled chicken and Quark

Cook a 113g/4oz skinned and boned chicken breast (6 Sins on Green) in a ridged grill pan for 8 minutes each side, until cooked. Slice thinly. Spread both slices of bread with 28g/1oz Quark. Top one slice with the chicken and a thinly sliced plum tomato. Season and sprinkle with chopped basil. Cover with the other bread slice and cut in half.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 6 Sins on Original; 12 Sins on Green

Sin-free spinach quiche

Here's an easy recipe for an unusual Sin-free quiche without a pastry base, which can be eaten hot or cold. Cut it into quarters and pop a portion into your lunch box. Alternatively, eat it with a crisp salad as a delicious light lunch or quick supper snack.

Crispbreads and open sandwiches

For a delicious alternative to a regular sandwich made with two slices of breed, you can top a single slice of bread or a crisphread with a law-Sin topping. Different types of bread and crispbreads have a wide range of Sin values so do check your eating plan book. Remember to add these Sins on to the Sin counts given for individual toppings below.

Spiced mango topping

Mix 1 tablespoon very low fat natural yogurt with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint, 1/2 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped) and a pinch of curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Peel and stone a small ripe mango and cut the flesh into dice. Mix into the yogurt and use as a topping for crispbreads and open sandwiches.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: FREE on Original and Green

Greek chick pea topping

Put 57g/2oz drained canned chick peas (3 Sins on Original) in a blender, or food processor with 1 peeled garlic clove, the juice of 1/2 lemon and some roughly chopped parsley. Whizz to a coarse puree and then stir in 1-2 tablespoons very low fat natural fromage frais. Season to taste and use as a topping for crispbreads and open sandwiches. Dust with cayenne pepper.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: 3 Sins on Original; FREE on Green

Mexican chicken and salsa topping

Spread 2 level teaspoons salsa (1/2 Sin) over the bread or crisphread. Cover with lettuce and top with 57 g/2 oz sliced cooked, skinned chicken (5 Sins on Green) and 1 teaspoon very low fat natural fromage frais.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: 1/2 Sin on Original; 5 1/2 Sins on Green

Steak and rocket topping

Grill a 57g/2oz lean minute steak with fat removed (4 Sins on Green) according to your preference. Cut into thin diagonal slices. Spread 1 level teaspoon mustard (1/2 Sin) over the bread or crispbreads. Cover with rocket leaves (or watercress, if you can't find any rocket) and a sliced tomato. Top with the sliced steak and season to taste.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: 1/2 Sin on Original; 4 1/2 Sins on Green

Indian char-grilled chicken topping

Grill 85 g/3oz of skinned, boned chicken breast (4 1/2 Sins on Green) on a barbecue or grill pan until cooked and slightly charred. Cut into cubes and mix with 2 tablespoons very low fat natural yogurt, a pinch each of ground cumin, chilli and coriander, and 2 teaspoons chopped tomato. Use as a topping for crispbreads and bread.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: FREE on Original; 4 1/2 Sins on Green

Pepper and coriander topping

Grill 1//2 red or yellow pepper until the skin is blistered and charred. Peel away and discard the skin, and remove any seeds. Cut the flesh into thin strips. Spread the bread or crispbreads with 2 tablespoons very low fat natural cottage cheese and season with a little ground sea salt. Top with the pepper strips and a few chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: FREE on Original and Green

Turkey and cranberry topping

Spread the bread or crispbreads with 1 level teaspoon cranberry sauce (1/2 Sin). Cover with shredded crisp lettuce and top with 57 g/2 oz cooked lean sliced turkey breast (4 1/2 Sins on Green). Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: 1/2 Sin on Original; 5 Sins on Green

Curried prawn topping

Mix 57 g/2 oz boiled shelled prawns (3 Sins on Green) with 2 heaped tablespoons very low fat natural frontage frais and a good pinch of curry powder. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some finely chopped fresh coriander, and use as a topping for crispbreads or bread. Serves: 1 Sins per topping: FREE on Original; 3 Sins on Green

Tuna and corn topping

Mix 57 g/2 oz drained canned tuna in brine (3 Sins on Green) with 1 heaped tablespoon very low fat natural cottage cheese and 2 teaspoons drained canned sweetcorn (1/2 Sin on Original). Use as a topping for bread or crispbreads, sprinkled with snipped chives.

Serves: 1

Sins per topping: 1/2 Sin on Original; 3 Sins on Green

Smoked salmon and caper topping

Mix 1 heaped tablespoon very low fat natural yogurt with 2 chopped capers and 1 teaspoon finely chopped red onion. Spread over the bread or crispbreads and top with 28 g/1 oz sliced smoked salmon (2 Sins on Green). Garnish with a sprig of dill or some snipped chives and a grinding of black pepper. Serves: 1 Sins per topping: FREE on Original; 2 Sins on Green

Fork salads

All these salads can be prepared in advance and stored in a sealed plastic container so that you can easily take them to work and eat them with a fork. In the interests of food safety, be sure to score them either in a refrigerator or a cool place rather than a warm office.

Lentil and egg salad

1. Soak 57 g/2oz brown Continental lentils (8 Sins on Original) in cold water for 1 hour. Drain and cook in fresh water for 1 1/4 hours, until tender. Drain and cool. Alternatively, use 170 g/6 oz canned lentils (9 Sins on Original).

2. Mix the lentils with 1 chopped spring onion, 1 chopped ripe tomato, 4 sliced radishes and 2 tablespoons fat free vinaigrette dressing. Peel and chop a hard-boiled egg and scatter over the top of the salad with a little chopped parsley.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 8 Sins on Original (9 Sins for canned lentils); FREE on Green

Tip: Use lentils as a Healthy Extra and deduct 6 Sins per serving.

Cherry tomato pasta salad

1. Cook 85 g/3 oz dried pasta shapes (15 Sins on Original) in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and cool, then mix with 6 cherry tomatoes (whole or halved) and 2 chopped spring onions.

2. Add some chopped red or yellow pepper, if wished, and toss in 2 tablespoons fat free vinaigrette drawing with a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs, e.g. oregano or basil.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 15 Sins on Original; FREE on Green

Tip: Use wholemeal pasta as a Healthy Extra and deduct 6 Sins per serving.

Prosciutto and exotic fruit salad

1. Cut 1 peeled, stoned mango or peeled, seeded paw paw into thin 1 slices. Remove any fat from 28 g/1 oz very thinly sliced Parma ham (3 Sins on Green). Cut each slice of ham in half lengthways and wind around a slice of mango or paw paw.

2 . Arrange some salad leaves in a lunch box. Add some sliced tomato, cucumber or onions, if wished, and put the fruit slices on top. 3. If liked, you can take 1-2 tablespoons fat tree vinaigrette dressing separately to pour over the salad.

Serves: 1 Sins per serving: FREE on Original; 3 Sins on Green

Citrus three-bean salad

1. Mix 57 g/2 oz drained canned red kidney beans (3 Sins on Original) with 57 g/2 oz drained canned haricot beans (3 Sins on Original) and 57 g/2 oz drained canned flageolet beans (3 Sins on Original).

2. Add 1/4 finely chopped red onion and Vi chopped red or yellow pepper (optional).

3. Blend the juice of 1/2 lemon with 2 tablespoons fat free vinaigrette dressing, a crushed garlic clove (optional) and 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley. Stir into the beans and toss gently.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 9 Sins on Original; FREE on Green

Tip: Use the beans as a Healthy Extra and deduct 6 Sins per serving.

Fruity rice salad

1. Mix 113 g/4 OZ cold boiled rice (8 Sins on Original) with 57 g/2 oz very low fat natural yogurt and season to taste. Add 1 teaspoon chopped mint or coriander and 1 chopped spring onion.

2 . Halve and stone a ripe peach and cut the flesh into small dice. Fold into the rice mixture.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 8 Sins on Original; FREE on Green

Crunchy carrot salad

1. Peel 2 carrots and cut into dim marchstick strips. Mix with 1 chopped celery stick, 1 cored and chopped red apple, 1 chopped spring onion 14 g / 1/2 oz raisins (2 Sins) and 1 level teaspoon sesame seeds (1 1/2 Sins).

2. Mix with 1 tablespoon fat free vinaigrette dressing, a squeeze of lemon juice and some finely chopped parsley. Serves: 1 Sins per serving: 3 1/2 Sins on Original and Green

Spicy potato salad

1. Cook 113 g/4 oz new potatoes (4 Sins on Original) in boiling salted water until tender.

2. Drain and cool. Mix with 2 chopped spring onions and a chopped ripe tomato.

3. Blend 85 g/3 oz very low fat natural yogurt with a good pinch of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander and cumin and a pinch of turmeric.

4. Mix the yogurt dressing with the potatoes and then scatter with some chopped coriander leaves.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 4 Sins on Original; FREE on Green

Spanish roasted vegetable salad

1. Spray a roasting pan with Fry Light and arrange 1/2 red seeded pepper, 1/2 deseeded green or yellow pepper, 1 courgette, 1 tomato and 1 small aubergine on top. Tuck in 2 or 3 garlic cloves and sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh or dried rosemary and thyme.

2. Spray lightly with Fry Light and roast in a preheated oven at 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for about 30 minutes, until tender and slightly charred.

3. Cut the vegetables into strips or chunks and place in a plastic container. Squeeze the garlic out of the crisp skins over the vegetables. Toss in 1 tablespoon fat free vinaigrette dressing.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: FREE on Original and Green

Lebanese tabbouleh salad

1. Soak 57 g/2 oz bulgur wheat (11 Sins on Original) in enough cold water to cover it for 15 minutes.

2. Drain and mix with 2 chopped spring onions or 1/4 chopped red onion, 1 chopped ripe tomato, 1/4 diced cucumber, some chopped fresh parsley and mint (to taste) and 1 deseeded and chopped red chilli (optional).

3. Add the juice of 1 lemon, 1-2 tablespoons fat free vinaigrette dressing and some salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently together. Serves: 1 Sins per serving: 11 Sins on Original; FREE on Green

Apple and raisin slaw

1. Finely shred about 1/4 small red cabbage with 1/4 small green cabbage and mix with 1 large grated carrot.

2. Add 1 cored and chopped dessert. apple, 1 chopped spring onion, 14 g/1/2 oz mains (2 SINS) And 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds (optional)

3. Mix with 85g/3oz very low fat natural yogurt, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar and some fresh or dried dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 2 Sins on Original and Green

Mexican taco salad

1. Fill a taco shell (2 1/2 Sins) with some shredded crisp lettuce, 2 tablespoons very low fat natural cottage cheese and some tomato salsa.

2. To make the salsa, mix 1 chopped tomato with 1 teaspoon finelly chopoed red onion, 1 chopped and deseeded red chilli and a few chopped coriander leaves.

Serves: 1

Sins per serving: 2 ½

Vacuum flask soups

On cold wintry days when you need warming up, it is a good idea to have some soup. Just make up a quantify of soup rind take some to work with you in a vacuum flask. If wished, you can freeze the rest in individual portions. Below is a basic recipe for starting the soup followed by various flavours and variations.

Basic soup base

* 1 large onion, chopped

* 284 ml / 1/2 pint chicken stock made with Bovril (optional)

* 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed

1. Put the onion, garlic (if using) and chicken stock in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to the boil.

2. Continue boiling for 5-10 minutes, then uncover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes, until the onion is tender, golden and syrupy. Now proceed with the soup of your choice as instructed below.

Tomato and basil soup

1. Add 908 g/2 lb skinned, chopped tomatoes to the cooked onion in the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, then add 852 ml / 1 1/2 pints hot chicken stock made with Bovril and a bouquet garni (parsley, thyme and bay leaf).

2. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then remove the bouquet garni and puree the soup in a blender.

3. Tip the soup back into the pan, season to taste and add some chopped basil Reheat before serving, garnished (if at home) with a swirl of very low fat narural yogurt and a sprig of basil.

Serves: 4

Sins per serving: FREE on Original and Green

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

Leek and potato soup

1. When making the soup base, cook 3 finely chopped leeks with the onion. Add 170 g/6 oz peeled diced potatoes (6 Sins on Original) to the cooked onion and leeks in the pan together with 852 ml / 1 1/2 pints hot chicken stock made with Bovril. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Puree the soup in a blender of food processor and then return to the pan and stir in 142 ml/5 fl oz skimmed milk (2 1/2 Sins) and a pinch of grated nutmeg.

3. Reheat the soup gently and add a teaspoon of snipped chives. Alternatively, you can chill the soup and serve if ice-cold in the summer in the manner of Vichyssoise.

Serves: 4

Sins per serving: 2 Sins on Original; 1/2 Sin on Green

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

Chicken noodle soup

1. Cook the onion base aa before and add 852 ml / 1 1/2 pints hot chicken stock made with Bovril. Add 57 g/2 oz dried vermicelli (10 Sins on Original), 170 g/6 osahredded cooked chicken breast meat without skin (15 Sins on Green) and salt and pepper.

2. Simmer gently for 10 minutes and stir in 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley.

3. If wished, you can add 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, some shrecldecl fresh spinach leaves or chopped green beans to give this wonderful soup a more oriental flavour.

Serves: 4

Sins per serving: 2 1/2 Sins on Original; 4 Sins on Green

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

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